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Condi testifies before 9/11 Commission... brief report by IPW ^ | 4/8/2004 | IPWGOP

Posted on 04/08/2004 11:01:48 AM PDT by IPWGOP

Rice testifies before 9/11 Commission

[Transcript of Rice’s testimony at the NY Times.]

Report by Roger Wm. Hughes... National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testified before the 9/11 Commission after the White House had worked out the difficulties of preserving the issue of "separation of powers." Her testimony was controlled, in charge and solid as a rock. She also placed doubts on Richard Clarke’s testimony.

One large area of conflict between Rice and Clarke came towards the end of her testimony, when Rice was asked as to why Clarke did not brief the President as Clarke says he requested:

RICE: ... Dick Clarke never asked me to brief the president on counterterrorism. He did brief the president later on cybersecurity, in July, but he, to my recollection, never asked. And my senior directors have an open door to come and say, I think the president needs to do this. I think the president needs to do that. He needs to make this phone call. He needs to hear this briefing. It's not hard to get done. But I just think that...

She also responded to whether there was any responsibility back to the advisor to the president. She responded that the responsibility lay with Clarke.

RICE: I believe that the responsibility -- again, the crisis management here was done by the CSG. They tasked these things. If there was any reason to believe that I needed to do something or that Andy Card needed to do something, I would have been expected to be asked to do it. We were not asked to do it...  

She was also asked about whether the briefing by Richard Clarke was a plan, as he had testified before the 9-11 commission.

RICE: What I understood it to be was a series of decisions, near-term decisions that were pending from the Clinton administration, things like whether to arm the Uzbeks -- I'm sorry -- whether to give further counterterrorism support to the Uzbeks, whether to arm the Northern Alliance -- a whole set of specific issues that needed decision. And we made those decisions prior to the strategy being developed. He also had attached the Delenda plan, which is my understanding was developed in 1998, never adopted and, in fact, had some ideas. I said, Dick, take the ideas that you've put in this think piece, take the ideas that were there in the Delenda plan, put it together into a strategy, not to roll back Al Qaida -- which had been the goal of the Clinton -- of what Dick Clarke wrote to us -- but rather to eliminate this threat. And he was to put that strategy together. But by no means did he ask me to act on a plan. He gave us a series of ideas. We acted on those. And then he gave me some papers that had a number of ideas, more questions than answers about how we might get better cooperation, for instance, from Pakistan. We took those ideas. We gave him the opportunity to write a comprehensive strategy.

Sen. Bob Kerry, a member of the Commission, disagreed with Rice over a need by the Bush Administration to respond to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Rice expressed that the Administration did not view a ‘tit for tat’ response would benefit the U.S. She testified that intelligence reports suggested bin Laden was going to use a strike done by the U.S to express that he survived again and that the U.S was weak.

Rice found herself under attack by the Democrat appointees regarding an August 6, 2001 President’s Daily Briefing. Rice informed the Commission that the briefing was the result of the President’s question about the possibility of an attack inside the U.S. -- reports of threats were all focused on attacks outside the U.S., and the President asked for a report on the possibility of an attack inside the U.S.

She also insisted that the briefing was not a threat statement. She testified that the report was a historical perspective and no one needed a report to know that bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S.

The Commission is pressing to make the August 6 President’s Daily Briefing made public.

Rice’s testimony is sure to be debated for several days and the question of whether or not 9/11 was preventable with the major structural flaws of our legal limitations and bureaucratic culture will continue.

The Commission will review the Justice Department and the F.B.I. next week as the Commission continues its public hearings.

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911; 911commission; alqaeda; clarke; commission; condoleezza; condoleezzarice; iraq; rice; ricetestimony; terror; testify; transcript; was

1 posted on 04/08/2004 11:01:51 AM PDT by IPWGOP
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I had my doubts as to whether to stoke a check to the RNC. After watching this kangaroo court, this Stalinesque show trial and the absolutely inexcusable behavior of not only the Commission members, but also the people watching who applauded against all contraints of decorum, I will happily write the big one and have every single member of my family do the same.

If anything can ever convince me that the democrats are only interested in some raw power, this is it.
2 posted on 04/08/2004 11:09:10 AM PDT by OpusatFR (John Kerry - Cheezewhiz for the mind)
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Thanks for posting this!  I've been cagebound here at the office and didn't really want to wade through the 2500+++ live thread to find out what happened.


3 posted on 04/08/2004 11:09:10 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("I AIN'T GOT TIME FO' YO' JIBBA JABBA, FOOL!!!"~ Mr. T.)
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4 posted on 04/08/2004 11:09:20 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
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To: OpusatFR
Another good one from Condi:

"The President doesn't think this is law enforcement. It's war."

5 posted on 04/08/2004 11:12:31 AM PDT by rintense (Now I know why liberals hate guns... they keep shooting themselves in the foot!)
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To: OpusatFR
What you said!

In addition, had I been on that committee, I would have made a statement to the audience. And that statement would have been something like this:

The purpose of this committee is to gather evidence and present suggestions for improving security in a bi-partisan way. If anyone in this committee room shows any sign of partisanship, by applauding or other expressions, they will be escorted from the room and can watch the proceedings from their own TV. The people clapping should be ashamed of themselves.
6 posted on 04/08/2004 11:18:25 AM PDT by BushisTheMan
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To: BushisTheMan
Re: applause - I don't know about that...

I'm listening to some of the snippets on Rush Limbaugh's show and they're confirming what I heard as I watched it live - that the loudest applause came when Dr. Rice made her statements above the protests of the idiots who wanted to insist on one-word, yes or no answers.

No, this commission was not supposed to have been politicized, but it certainly has become a partisan attack - primarily on this administration!

Seems like there was some support shown for Dr. Rice after the rude smatterings of applause for the Democratic inquisitioners - they were decidedly hostile and she did very well to stand her ground in the face of the interrogation.

Who was it that was applauding the commissioners when they were so rude? They said that there were some 9-11 families in attendance - were there some of the black helicopter "Bush Knew" groupies in there? I'd bet that there were.

7 posted on 04/08/2004 2:58:09 PM PDT by ElizabethC (
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To: ElizabethC
I'm listening to some of the snippets on Rush Limbaugh's show and they're confirming what I heard as I watched it live - that the loudest applause came when Dr. Rice made her statements above the protests of the idiots who wanted to insist on one-word, yes or no answers.

I interpreted it that they were clapping for Ben-Venista when he rudely said to Rice: YES or NO? (Rice trying to answer) and then his just answer the question!

Unfortunately I am pretty sure they were appauding him -- not her.

8 posted on 04/08/2004 3:07:55 PM PDT by BushisTheMan
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To: BushisTheMan
Well, on listening for a third time, there is louder applause for Dr. Rice in at least this point in her testimony than had been heard from the "Bush Knew" crowd:

"RICE. I believe that there is a question of whether or not you respond in a tactical sense or whether you respond in a strategic sense. Whether or not you decide that you're going to respond to every attack with minimal use of military force. And go after - on a kind of tit for tat basis. By the way, in that memo Dick Clarke talks about not doing this tit for tat, doing this on a time of our choosing. I'm aware, Mr. Kerrey, of a speech that you gave at that time that said that perhaps the best thing that we could do to respond to the Cole and to the memories was to do something about the threat of Saddam Hussein. That's a strategic view.(APPLAUSE) And we took a strategic view. We didn't take a tactical view. I mean it was really, quite frankly, I was blown away when I read the speech. Because it's a brilliant speech. It talks about really an asymmetric approach."

I'm still trying to get the dang c-span video to work for me, to compare it to the transcript, but there was at least one other point at which the audience showed definite support for Dr. Rice. I believe it was in this part of her remarks, where she is responding to John Lehman:

"RICE: As to your last question though I think that that's actually where we've have the biggest change. The president doesn't think of this as law enforcement. He thinks of this as war. And for all of the rhetoric of war prior to 9/11, people who said we're at war with the jihadis network, people who said that they've declared war on us and we're at war with them, we weren't at war. We weren't on war footing. We weren't behaving in that way. We were still very focused on rendition of terrorists, on law enforcement. And yes, from time to time we did military plans or used a cruise missile strike here or there but we did not have a sustained systematic effort to destroy Al Qaeda, to deal with those who harbored Al Qaeda. One of the points that the president made in his very first speech on the night of Sept. 11 was that it's not just the terrorists it's those who harbor them too. And he put states on notice that they were going to be responsible if they sponsored terrorists or if they acquiesced in terrorists being there. And when he said I want to bring him to justice, again I think there was a little bit of nervousness about talking about exactly what that means. But I don't think there's anyone in America who doesn't understand that this president believes that we're at war. It's a war we have to win. And that it is a war that cannot be fought on the defensive. It's a war that has to be fought on the offense. "

On another note, the liberal media is already at it, saying that nothing Dr. Rice said today directly disputes anything that Richard Clarke said in his testimony! Were they watching the same testimony as the rest of us???

The whole transcript is available at NYT:
9 posted on 04/08/2004 4:15:22 PM PDT by ElizabethC (
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To: nutmeg
read later bump
10 posted on 04/08/2004 7:08:24 PM PDT by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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